Choosing the right website administration system

Posted by steve fearn on 13 September 2017 | Comments

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It's important to choose the right tools for the job and this certainly applies to website design and development.

Pretty much every company requires a web presence these days. So, you splash out on a gleaming new design that reflects your company and starts to increase your sales but...that's not the end of the solution. Websites are like shop windows and they need attending to inside and out. You may have new products or videos to load, latest news to add, price lists to amend or offers to promote. It's vital to keep your site up to date.content management systems infographic

"It's too complicated to change anything on our website. I can never remember how to do it so nothing gets updated."
"The process takes so long I've given up trying to keep things current. I just don't have time"

These are two very common issues I hear from new clients. They lead busy working lives and the idea of delving into the backend of the website to add anything new has become a daunting task that even the most motivated team member is putting off. Or perhaps the only person who knew how to upload a new image has left. We get it. 

Recently we developed a new website for Drew Pearce, an Exeter estate agency. The brief was straight forward. They wanted a modern, interesting website but primarily they needed to be able to easily upload new properties. On further investigation their last website took at least twenty minutes to upload photos and that was before they had even started adding the property content. It was wasting valuable time in a busy office.

So after winning the commission, the first thing we did was set about customising the content management system to make it quick and easy to update. The Drew Pearce team were used to the Rightmove administration model as they were uploading property information to this all the time and liked its simplicity. With this in mind we based the back end design on that. A lot of people focus on the front end design with little thought to how the back is going to look. They don't realise that you can have it designed to look exactly the way you want with all the functionality you require and laid out how you like.

We used our Silverstripe CMS Framework to develop the administration system. There are many reasons for using Silverstripe for this type of project and not Wordpress. Often people cling to the idea of Wordpress because they have heard of it or have had a Wordpress blog but the back end of a Wordpress website looks different to the user end of a blog. Always ask your web designer for an example of what the back end of your new site will look like. They can usually provide you with a working demonstration.

Wordpress is built in a way that is less flexible. This can mean that you end up with a lot of information and choices in the back end that can be confusing for those not used to working with content management systems. It's easy to get lost. With Silverstripe your web developer can organise the Admin system so that it is custom built to your needs. The parts where you add text and photos will still have all the options that a Wordpress website has. You can align text to the left or right, change the font colour etc.

We organised a meeting to show Drew Pearce the admin system we had developed for them. We got a great reaction, a room of smiling faces and a huge sigh of relief. It meant that the team could all immediately upload photos and properties quickly and easily, cutting a job that used to take over twenty minutes down to one or two. All the property images, brochure, energy efficiency certificate and blurb could be uploaded while the kettle boiled. No wonder they were so pleased!

Once that was in place we completed the design and development of the front end and the team continue to be very satisfied with what they now have.

Another of our clients Carradale Farm Antiques had the same problem with a previous website and is now also in the happy position of uploading a product image and content that previously took twenty minutes in a minute or two. We custom developed the administration leaving him more hours in the day to do other things.

If you are interested in finding out more about a customised back end to your website please get in touch and tell us a litle more about your requirements.

We mainly work with Silvertstripe as it is very easy to use and customise for the clients benefit. We sometimes work with Wordpress if it works for some clients, the administration can be a little difficult to understand and can be costly to customise. So we look at a clients needs and select the greatest tool for you.

Take a look at the demo site for the Silverstripe Administration System here or check out the screenshots to see how easy it is to use.

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